Monday, August 23, 2010

Random thoughts

I don't have anything too exciting this week but thought I'd share a few random thoughts anyway. So here goes.

1. We're potty training Caleb this week. With my first 4 kids, if we took off their diapers and let them run around naked, there were constant messes everywhere. With Caleb, letting him run without a diaper=potty training. He is constantly running to the toilet and, other than some partial starts in the diaper, he hasn't really had a dirty diaper in the last 4 or 5 days. If I had known earlier, I would have been letting him run naked for months now. I'm so tired of dirty diapers and so ready for him to be potty trained.

2. In order to save myself trips to the store and the possibility (or should I say inevitability) of finding many more things I can't live without, I've started making bread. The kids usually devour white bread so I decided to try whole wheat bread this time. Not only do they eat it nearly as good, but it's also better for them and fills them up faster. So there is less bread consumed, their healthier and it's not that hard to make one loaf every day.

3. My good friend Kathy is on her way to my house right now. This part is so exciting! We haven't seen each other since she and her husband dropped us off at the airport to fly to Australia 3 1/2 years ago. We've talked on the phone, but that just isn't the same. I'm so anxious to see her kids, her newest little one and especially to spend some time hanging out with her again. I really miss living across the street from her and will miss her even more when they leave again and shortly head to Africa. Africa is so far away, I kind of wish she was sticking with her original plan of living stateside while her hubby went alone, but I also understand her need to be with him. Husbands win every time and that's completely understandable. Hopefully we'll get her blog and FB set up while she's here so that we can keep up with each other better.

4. Teaching the sunbeams at church is such a challenge. 4 year olds are rowdy and irreverent and it's so hard to teach them to be better when you hardly know them. I'd like to think that we're making some progress, but honestly I'm just finally learning all of their names. Reverent progress will come eventually, I hope.

Ok, I think that's it for today. If I remember something else then I guess it'll leave something for another post another day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Neglected Blog

Wow, I didn't realise just how long it had been since I posted anything here until a friend of mine linked to my blog in a post on hers. So I guess it's time for a big update. Let's see if I can't make a long story semi-short here.
We left Australia and all of our friends there in mid-January. Housing was a pain in the butt but we were finally able to get out of there with minimal cost on our parts (thank goodness). We were able to sell everything with Aussie power that needed to go and even sold our truck for the price we were asking and without any issues. Everything we did leading up to our move was guided by the Lord and we knew that leaving then was what we were supposed to do. Then, 4 days before we were to fly, the Army decided that we were to change itineraries. Instead of all of us going to Denver to outprocess with Josh for two weeks, we were to change our tickets so that we all flew to California together and then the family to Phoenix with my family while Josh went on to outprocess alone. This way they could get out of paying for hotels and instead put him in barracks. And then they didn't have to pay for a rental car either and could, instead, give him a government vehicle. All of this so that the command could save a few dollars and be able to make another trip to Australia and see and do a few more things while they are there. So we changed everything and I flew from Cali with 5 kids while we said goodbye to Josh for 2 weeks.
We stayed with my parents in their camper just outside the house with my brother's camper set up next to it for the luggage. It worked out pretty well and gave us some space of our own to get away if needed, even if it was a small space. It was nice to see and stay with family again after so long.
Once Josh came back we started in on the job hunt again. The company in Tucson we wanted to work for kept getting their contract moved back until we just couldn't wait for them anymore. Then we had a solid offer from a company in Ohio. The price was decent and they would pay to move our things and us, put us up in housing for a month while we looked for a house and even give us a rental car if we needed it. We prayed about it, made a couple trips to the temple and decided to sign a contract with them, even though Ohio was far away, we knew nobody and I just plain didn't want to go. But even with all this, we felt it would be alright. We got the contract on a Friday, signed it, faxed it back over the weekend and then called Monday to make sure they got it. There was no answer all the times Josh tried to call on Monday so he sent an email too. On Tuesday we got a reply. The lady said she had received the paperwork and it was good and that as soon as their proposal was approved she would let us know a start date. Then in the next sentence she said that another company had won the bid on the other contract they were hoping for and that he should put in an application with them too. STOP, wait a minute. Didn't we just sign a contract with you? Doesn't that mean that we have a job with you? Why would we apply elsewhere? That was the last time we heard from her. Never another email, never another phone call, nothing. Start over again.
Josh put his resume out to several more companies and within about 2 weeks he had 2 more offers. One fell through but the other one did 2 interviews with him, gave him an offer, signed a contract with us (for more than the Ohio company had offered) and called him every day to update him on where the process was (this is more like it). So, off to Colorado we went. It's closer to family than Ohio, by a long shot, and the spirit told us this was a good thing for us to do. With family in Oklahoma, Arizona, California and Oregon, it puts us pretty central.
We stayed in an extended stay hotel and started house hunting. We looked at about 100 houses online and narrowed it down to around 15 we wanted to see in person. We walked through 13 houses and had already seen 3 we were interested in and could see ourselves living in. Back to prayer we went, started a pros and cons list and a discussion between us. 2 of the 3 homes were short sales. This means that the bank has agreed to take less than is owed on the house in order to get something back out of it. It also means that you're looking at 2-4 months of paperwork and waiting in order to get in. The other house was a regular sale and we could be in it in as little as 1 month. So we walked back through all 3 again, just to make sure we made the right choice. The regular sale just felt like home so we made an offer of a bit less than they wanted. The next day they accepted our offer with nearly no changes to it and we were under contract. All inspections went smoothly with the results better than anybody expected and almost no repairs necessary and 28 days later we closed, got our keys and moved into our new, and first, house. Our very own house, not the army's house, not the government's house, our house.
It's now been 2 months since we moved in, we've received all our belongings from both storage and Australia and are nearly done unpacking (400+ boxes can take a long time to unpack). This is home and we're so happy to be here, the kids started school 6 weeks ago and it's a year round curriculum. We're all starting to make friends here and it's starting to feel like we belong here, again, guided by the spirit the entire way.
So that's my catch up, I hope it wasn't too long or boring. I'm going to aim to post on here at least a couple times a week, there is so much I think to write but never get to it. I will not be a blog deserter.